One of the iconic racing families in NASCAR has hired a second generation driver to pilot its car going forward. The Wood Brothers announced on Thursday that Ryan Blaney will drive the famed 21 for at least 12 races next season. Wood Brothers will also shift its technical alliance from Roush/Fenway to Penske Racing.
“I want to thank Wood Brothers Racing, Team Penske, Ford Racing and everyone at Motorcraft and Quick Lane for the opportunity to race next season in the Sprint Cup Series,” said Blaney, who is the son of NASCAR driver Dave Blaney. “To get a chance to race at the top level of NASCAR in such a historic car as the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion is a dream come true. I’m really looking forward to 2015.”
Blaney will make his unofficial debut for the Wood Brothers this weekend, qualifying the car for Trevor Bayne while Bayne is qualifying his Nationwide Car at Mid-Ohio. Official races on the schedule for Blaney include the 2015 Daytona 500, plus races at Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis, among others.
Bayne will drive fulltime for Roush/Fenway in 2015, replacing Carl Edwards who has not yet announced his plans for next season.
“Wood Brothers Racing is excited to align with Roger Penske and his team and we couldn’t be more pleased to put Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Ford Fusion,” said Eddie and Len Wood, co-owners of Wood Brothers Racing, in a joint statement. “Ryan is a third-generation racer and one of the best young drivers out there. He has been a winner in many different kinds of cars since he started racing at a very young age and we fully expect that to continue while he is with us.”